2014 Policy Motion 6 - Council Election Constituencies

Proposer: Jack Maizels
Seconder: Danny Zinkus

Unlock Democracy notes that:

  • In the last Council election, only one constituency had a competitive election (i.e. where there were more candidates than seats) and London had two fewer candidates than places available
  • Electing our 18 member Council under the single transferable vote system requires constituencies to be minimum size, resulting in very large areas being grouped together. For example, the North West, North East, Scotland and Northern Ireland are treated as one area
  • There is no formal link between a Council member and their constituents, nor would it be practical to have one
  • The current constituency system prioritizes candidates’ geographical location over other aspects voters may wish to see represented, such as political views, gender or age
  • There are alternative ways of ensuring ways of regional representation, such as having reserved places akin to those we already have for gender and ethnicity

Unlock Democracy believes that:

  • Regional representation is vital to addressing democratic issues from across the UK and preventing a London bias
  • Our large constituencies have done little to address this in practice, while limiting voter-choice and adding administrative complexity at a time of limited resource
  • A more flexible system is required, which protects regional representation, but allows each voter to choose from all candidates and weigh up what is most important to them

Unlock Democracy resolves:

  • To move to a single constituency, with reserved places for regional representation (to be specified by the AGM immediately prior to the next Council election)

This motion was carried